My work top is actually clean these days. Tidy. I've even reconfigured my space. Gotten rid of fabric that doesn't make me nod when I look at it. I even swept.
I've finally found a way for both machines to live next to each other, both ready to roll. I've got a couple of notes about what I may make later--stacks here and there of scrap groups and jotted dimensions of covers and such I want to pull off.
But I'm not sewing. I'm not really cutting much. I walk up the stairs, look around, find a way to make my scissors look more purposefully placed, throw a few more things on the mending pile, stay for a bit, and then walk back downstairs.
At least in this maker's heart, it is. Slow-moving, steady, quiet, hide-at-home winter.
It's a strange things--a true maker's inconveniece, a botch in the design of a maker's year--that christmastime comes in these months. Right when I want to shower my loves with scrappy goodness, I find I just sit.
Christmas would be better placed in the spring, really--or maybe in the months just after the hard-working production months of spring. But it's not.
I think often these days of Tillie Olsen, short-story writer, who over a lifetime of writing published just one slim volume of fiction and a sweet little set of shorts (Tell Me a Riddle) that I've read and re-read. And then there is the big non-fiction piece called Silences, a chronicling of the woman writer's struggle to find the spaces to Say. My friend Al gave it to me when my boys were small and I was stumbling into our writing group barely having read what the rest of the group had written (and in no way bringing a single poem myself). In it, Olsen tells the story of her writerly life with the courage of a person who sees that her shortcomings as a published writer and mother may, in fact, be shared by others--and in that way not shortcomings at all, but realities.
She transforms her not-doing into a message of freedom. She sees the winter of her writing life and, by speaking of it, makes a sort of spring for the rest of us.
And I'm wondering today if that's how I'll do christmastime winter this time around. A note, maybe--no packages or ribbons or paper yet, a Christmas Note, for all those that I love. Something that lets winter be winter and looks out ahead to spring.